Slovakia: EFJ urges the President of the Republic to veto the public broadcasting bill

Slovakia’s parliament approved the government’s planned revamp and leadership change at public broadcaster RTVS on Thursday, overruling concerns the changes will bring RTVS under political control and harm media freedom and media pluralism. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) urges Peter Pellegrini, President of the Slovak Republic to veto the public broadcasting bill. Contrary to the European legal standards, including the newly adopted European Media Freedom Act (EMFA), the new Slovak legislation risks transforming public media into government propaganda outlets. Under the new law, RTVS’s director will be replaced years before his term expires. A nine-member supervisory council, appointed by…

EFJ and trade unions federations condemn any attack on the LGBTI+ community

On 17 May, the European trade union movement, including the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), celebrates the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT). On this day, we remind ourselves and European policymakers that LGBTI+ rights are fundamental human and trade union rights. We praise the progress made during recent decades to advance the rights of LGBTI+ workers at the workplace through collective bargaining and beyond, such as the right to family lives through equal rights for same-sex couples. However, these achievements are now put in question or even pushed back by right-wing and populist movements across Europe. This…

EFJ to hold its Annual Meeting in Prishtina, Kosovo, on 23-24 May 2024

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) will hold its annual meeting in Prishtina, Kosovo. Around 100 journalists and trade union representatives from 45 European countries are expected to meet on 23-24 May 2024. Prishtina was chosen as the host city of the upcoming congress of the EFJ, representing 320,000 journalists in Europe. Co-organised by the Association of Journalists of Kosovo (AGK), the assembly will be held in Modelarium, University of Prishtina. “It is a historic milestone for Kosovo to host this important annual event. It comes at a time when the media freedom index in the country has fallen significantly,…

Ukraine: MFRR partners highlight ongoing press freedom issues

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined its Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) partners in highlighting ongoing press freedom concerns in Ukraine, over two years following the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion. While Ukraine was at first quick to unite in the face of armed aggression, setting aside internal conflicts and arguments, the climate of trust between officials and independent media seems to have seriously deteriorated, two years on. Repeated surveillance of journalists In comparison to neighbouring Russia and Belarus, Ukraine has long been a haven for independent media, offering local journalists the opportunity to criticise power without fear of…

EU: No real progress in protecting journalists, contrary to what a European study claims

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) radically disputes the conclusions of a study commissioned by the European Commission to assess the implementation of the EU Recommendation on the protection, safety and empowerment of journalists. The report points to supposed progress that in fact remains marginal, if not ineffective. On 3 May, the European Commission published the study carried out by Intellera Consulting, Open Evidence and PwC assessing the efforts made by EU Member States since the publication in 2021 of the highly relevant EU Recommendation on the Safety of Journalists. According to the EU press release, “EU countries show progress…

Georgia: PM urged to withdraw the Law on Transparency of Foreign Influence

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) today joined press freedom, journalists and human rights organisations in writing to Prime Minister of Georgia, Irakli Kobakhidze, urging him to withdraw the Law on Transparency of Foreign Influence, guarantee the safety of journalists and uphold press freedom in Georgia. Dear Prime Minister Kobakhidze, We, the undersigned international press freedom, journalists and human rights organizations, are writing to express our deep alarm about the reintroduction of the bill on Transparency of Foreign Influence and the sudden rise in violence and other restrictions against Georgia’s journalists reporting on the public protests against the Bill. We…

Croatia: EFJ condemns far-right calls for an end to funding for Novosti weekly

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined its Croatian affiliates, the Croatian Journalists’ Association (CJA) and the Trade Union of Croatian Journalists (TUCJ), in condemning the call by the far-right political party Homeland Movement to cut public funding for media outlet Novosti, which is published by the Serbian National Council, SNV, an organisation representing the Serb minority in Croatia. On 8 May 2024, at a press conference in Šibenik, the leader of the far-right Homeland Movement, Ivan Penava, declared that his party would only support a new government coalition led by the conservative Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) if it cuts…

Bosnia and Herzegovina: EFJ denounces interruption of public broadcaster FTV

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joins its affiliate in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Bosnia-Herzegovina Journalists’ Association (BHJA), in demanding the reactivation throughout the country of the federal public channel FTV, whose TV and radio broadcasts were interrupted at 6am on 8 May following a decision by the management of the public broadcaster BHRT in a financial dispute between the two entities. The EFJ and BHJA denounce the mess that has led to the interruption of FTV’s broadcasting, in a context of irresponsible political interference contrary to the public interest. We call on the journalists of the two public broadcasters…

North Macedonia: We urge authorities to cease harassment of journalist Furkan Saliu

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined four international media freedom organisations and its six affiliates in the SafeJournalist network in demanding that the authorities in Northern Macedonia put an end to the harassment of journalist Furkan Saliu. Here is the letter we sent on 8 May to the Minister of the Interior, Pance Toskovski, and the President of the VMRO-DPMNE right-wing party, Hristijan Mickoski. Dear Minister for Internal Affairs Mr. Pance Toskovski, Dear President of VMRO DPMNE Mr. Hristijan Mickoski, The undersigned media freedom and freedom of expression organisations are writing to express our grave concern at the harassment…

MFRR to conduct a mission to Italy amid worsening state of media freedom in the country

The growing pressure on press freedom in Italy has prompted the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) consortium to organise an urgent mission to Rome on May 16 and 17. The unprecedented political interference in the public service media, the increasing cases of vexatious lawsuits against journalists, and the possible sale of the AGI news agency will be the focus of the two-day visit. Meetings will be held with institutional stakeholders, journalists, trade unions and civil society. In light of the recent legislative developments on media freedom at the EU level, in particular the adoption of the anti-SLAPP Directive and the…

France: Full support for journalist Nassira El Moaddem and her media Arrêt sur images

Since 1 May 2024, French journalist Nassira El Moaddem has been the target of an unprecedented campaign of racist harassment. Her media, Arrêt sur images (ASI), specialised in media issues, has also received several death threats referring to the Charlie Hebdo attack. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joins its French affiliates the SNJ, SNJ-CGT and CFDT-Journalistes in expressing full solidarity with Nassira El Moaddem and ASI, and in calling for appropriate sanctions to be taken against the perpetrators of the threats. The harassment campaign started with a tweet posted by Nassira El Moaddem on 30 April 2024, in reaction…

Croatia: Interview with Lika Club, bringing the local to diaspora

Based on a recent study by the Centre of Media Pluralism and Media Freedom (CMPF) that maps news deserts in Europe, the Local Media for Democracy (LM4D) project financially supports independent local media outlets operating in areas at risk of becoming news deserts. We talked to Ante Fumić, owner of Lika Club, about the opportunities from the development of the Lika App, which aims to provide relevant news, information, and content that directly serves the interests and concerns of the local community. By focusing on their specific needs, the app will enhance accessibility to regional media and foster a stronger…

Danish journalists faced a surge in false advertising on Meta platforms

Danish newspapers Politiken with TjekDek revealed last month that thousands of false advertisement campaigns published on the Meta platforms were targeting in particular DR and TV2 journalists. Most of the fake articles were not removed by Meta, despite being reported as fraudulent. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) urges Meta to take responsibility for protecting the credibility and professionalism of journalists and remove all the fakes from its platforms.  Deepfake is a growing phenomenon worldwide that involves the unauthorised use of well-known journalists’ images or voices to spread false stories and lure people into sending money.  Among the journalists targeted,…

Italy: European solidarity with journalists on strike at RAI

Journalists at Italy’s public broadcaster RAI are on strike this Monday 6 May to protest against the “stifling control” exercised over their work by Giorgia Meloni‘s government, the journalists’ union Usigrai said in a statement. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joins its Italian affiliate, the Italian National Press Federation (FNSI), in giving its full support to the strikers. The Usigrai union has criticised political attempts “to turn RAI into a mouthpiece for the government”’. This is one of the main grievances behind the 24-hour strike that began on 6 May. Other reasons include staff shortages, the unilateral cancellation of…

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Serbia: MFRR partners demand Belgrade court set Belarusian journalist free

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined the undersigned partner organisations of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) in demanding the immediate release of Andrey Gniot, a Belarusian journalist and pro-democracy activist who is being held in custody by Serbian authorities on politically motivated charges formulated by the regime of Alexander Lukashenko. Since October, Serbian courts have been deliberating upon a request to deport Gniot to Belarus. According to the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ), an independent trade union in exile, Gniot was arrested immediately upon his arrival to Serbia on October 30. He was detained based on an international arrest warrant…

Call for tender: Stand Up for Journalism

The EFJ is looking for a subcontractor to provide expertise as part of the implementation of the EFJ project entitled Stand Up for Journalism.  This programme is funded by the European Commission (DG Employment). The deadline for submission of bids is Friday 14 June 2024. Find more information here

WPFD24: EFJ and ETUC salute journalists in Gaza

On World Press Freedom Day, the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) and the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) stand in solidarity with journalists and media workers everywhere and reaffirm our commitment to defending press freedom across Europe. Across Europe, journalists and media workers are regularly stopped from doing their job. Among EU Member States and candidate countries alone, over 1,000 media freedom violations have been documented on Mapping Media Freedom Platform. Belarus has one of the most oppressive media climates in the world. The most recent figures report 36 media professionals in Belarus are behind bars. The crucial role of…